Paleo-Indians inhabited the island 11,000 years ago. The idea of the Vikings having lived there also has been debated.
The first European settlement in Nova Scotia was a French settlement in Acadia at Port Royal.
However, throughout the centuries, there have been many debates as to how many explorers and settlements actually existed before the French settlement at Acadia.
Did one of the above bury a large treasure on Oak Island? That question is part of the drama behind the Oak Island mystery.
Some will argue that the Norseman crossed the Atlantic before Columbus. There are those that say that the Vikings reached North America by 1101 A.D.
Excavations on Nova Scotia also found Viking ruins that dated in the 1500’s.
Did the Vikings bury a treasure on the Island?
Of course any good lost treasure story begins mostly with the Spaniards.
The Spanish fleets of treasure laden ships moved quite often between Europe and North America.
Did the Spaniards bury a treasure on Oak Island?
Any of the above could have buried treasure on Oak Island. But…did they have the means to do so?
The Oak Island treasure is one of the most intriguing treasure hunting lost treasure story because of it has been one of the most talked about and written about treasure.
The Lost Treasure Story Begins in 1795
In the summer of 1795, three young boys, Daniel McGinnis, John Smith and Anthony Vaughn were playing on Oak Island.
Young Daniel who was sixteen noticed a spot on the ground that looked as if it had been recently uncovered. Fifteen feet above the ground, swung a ships tackle hanging from a sawed off tree branch. On the tree were carved strange looking markings.
Boys being boys, and having heard lost treasure stories about pirates and buried treasures the three teenagers began to dig in the impression. Visions of a buried treasure danced in their heads.
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Digging Two Feet Down
After digging a two-foot hole the boys found flagstones that had been carefully placed in the hole. The three boys also noticed that the flagstone was not a type of stone that could be found on the island. They removed the stones and realized that they were indeed digging in a hole, or shaft that had been previously dug.
Could a lost treasure story be coming true for them they thought.
Ten Feet Down
Sure that they were on to a buried treasure the three boys kept digging. When they reached a depth of ten feet they encountered a platform consisting of oak logs.
Twenty Feet Down
The boys removed the logs and dug down to a depth of twenty feet. At this level they came upon another oak log platform.
Sure that a buried treasure was not far from their reach the boys kept digging.
Thirty Feet Down
When they reached the thirty-foot level they encountered another platform of oak logs. However, by this time the boys could dig no further. They needed help.
But, the help never came.
The three young treasure hunters could not persuade the local farmers to help them in their search. Their own lost treasure story was beginning to look more and more like fiction. For a few years the digging stopped.
Doctor Simeon Lynd’s the family Doctor of John Smith, one of the young treasure hunters, heard about the boy’s efforts. Doctor Lynds, whose office and home were located on the mainland decided to invest in the search for the treasure.
Doctor Lynds was the first of many syndicates to invest money in the Oak Island lost treasure story.
Ninety Feet Down
Using ropes and pulleys to dig to the ninety-foot level Doctor Lynd’s workers uncovered another oak platform. After removing the oak logs the workers came upon another flagstone. The flagstone was also inscribed with a code.
“Forty Feet Below”
However, the inscription could not be deciphered. That was until a local professor at a nearby college was asked tom look at the inscription. The professor told Doctor Lynds that the inscription was interpreted to mean that there was a buried treasure another “forty feet below” where they were digging.
The coded inscription was a common one used at that time.
The letter “E” in this type of a code was simply substituted by a symbol, or a cipher. Once all of the substitutions are made, the code is broken.
If slabs of stone, oak log platforms and coded inscriptions weren’t enough problems, another one became dangerous. As the crew dug deeper water began seeping into the shaft. In order to continue their efforts without drowning in the deep pit, the workers had to dig a second shaft a few hundred feet from the original shaft and tunnel to it.
However, this attempt failed and another shaft further away was dug with the attempt to again tunnel over to the first.
Over the years cofferdams were built to stop the water from flowing into the shaft.
As more and more different syndicates began to invest in the Money Pit, more sophisticated machinery was also brought in.
In the late 1800’s a farmer plowing his field uncovered a coin that was dated 1317.
The above date is important and may hold a clue to the treasure buried on Oak Island.
Interestingly enough, the coin along with the inscribed stone has mysteriously disappeared.
To this day, no treasure has been found on the Island. And, the treasure mystery is now being exploited by television. I have my own views regarding this treasure and the TV series. I wrote them down in this issue of my newsletter, "The Digger."
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